Before we get back into the trip and the full swing of things an update on what’s been going on these past couple of weeks is probably in order. Last week I did a whopping 16800km.. Alas non of them were actually on a motorcycle… Due to some serious visa complications I had to pop back to South Africa quickly to sort it all out. Whilst it was a bit of a massive speed bump in terms of the momentum of the trip, it did mean I could send Bruce pictures of me eating a prime, succulent rump steak and sipping on some deliciously crisp wine in the sun whilst he was buggering around Turkey in the rain. So all in all a win I’d say.
Another thing that is in dire need of a mention is Cappadocia. Once again, unfortunately we were restricted with time constraints due to my impending flight home and so could not ride down but caught the bus instead. Never to let a silly little thing like not having our bikes there damper the spirit we rented some scramblers and blazed around the rugged landscape exploring the ancient cave dwellings of early Christendom and just generally making a fool out of ourselves. The highlight for me as well as I’d say almost anyone who visits Cappadocia was the hot air balloon ride however.
It all starts in the early hours of the morning where 70 or so hot air balloons are slowly inflated in the pre dawn light. Then as the first rays of sun pierce the horizon an array of colour gently drifts up as nothing more than mottled fabric and a bit of hot air lifts hundreds of people skywards. Luckily we were fortunate enough to have a rather talented chap for a pilot. He took us weaving through the gullies and over the chasms barely scraping past towering rocks and then shooting skywards to overlook the multitudes of balloons below us. Its not something that words on a page can truly describe.
Day 32, 33: 1127km, Total: 6570km
So back into it then. After a 16 hour flight and a 2 hour shuttle from the airport in bumper to bumper traffic I arrived at the hostel where my bike was being lovingly kept for me only to be told, ‘Brad, you should take a look at the back tyre, it seems a bit flat.’ Literally the last thing I wanted to hear on 2 hours of sleep and probably one too many gin and tonics from the flight. But out I strolled to take a look and there it was, a rusty iron nail, slowly sucking the life out of the tyre and very rapidly sucking the optimism out of me!
To cut a long story short it was hours of adventuring around Istanbul to find a repair shop with the aid of some extremely helpful locals, failing miserably. Drinking copious amounts of Turkish coffee, rather successfully. Returning to the hostel and trying to patch the tube without taking the wheel off, failing miserably. Watching you tube videos, rather successfully. Taking the wheel off with none of the correct tools, putting a new tube in and grinning like a fool when the wheel didn’t actually fall off as soon as I started the bike!
Suffice it to say after a rather late night getting all sorts of greasy it wasn’t the earliest of starts but still a massive day on the road, my biggest yet putting away a good 800km. Unfortunately I don’t have much to report on the riding as these last 2 days I’ve been in catch up mentality and haven’t really stopped to smell the roses at all, which is a bit of a pity considering some of the scenery. The only thing that needs a quick mention is the happiness of my buttocks. I invested in a sheepskin in SA and its made the world of difference. Bruce will be lucky if he gets his half.
The bike’s have now been reunited and tomorrow we reach Georgia so the adventure part of this trip is truly about to get underway.